Euphemism watch: nightclub

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The Lexington Herald-Leader published a profile today of Kenny Bishop and his comeback in gospel music. It doesn’t plow any new ground for southern gospel fans and insiders, but what fascinates me about it is how presumptious and willingly obtuse the article is about Bishop’s downfall. According to Bishop and/but with more than a little help from a reporter who was either willfully incurious or really deferential to Bishop, it was about his having been caught in “nightclubs.” Ahem. Yes, conservative Christians strictly police what is and is not acceptable behavior and they exact high prices from people who transgress before they’re allowed back in, but if throwing a few too many cold ones back in a bar was all we were really talking about here, … well, we wouldn’t be talking about this at all. Let me be clear: I don’t support snipe hunts into people’s lives to find sufficiently scandalous material to ruin someone for good. Nightclubs, rotary clubs, golf clubs. Whatever. My curiousity here is in the brilliant way Bishop has learned from the public ordeals and humiliation of other fallen sons of gospel music. Bishop has managed to perform the necessary public confessionals and on-the-record oblations that evangelicals want to see from their prodigals before letting them back in the gate and on the stage. But by using this wonderfully obtuse and evasive rhetoric of the “nightclub” (which could only work on a religious culture sufficiently withdrawn from the wider world to think - or probably more accurately, pretend to think - we’re only or primarily talking about honky tonks and whiskey shots), he has achieved his comeback without having to fully disclose what would have - when you tally up the price that others have paid in similar cases of the recent past - surely prohibited his reinstatement to gospel music to the extent he has enjoyed (namely, a Daywind contract). Perhaps this is what working for a Republican governor under seige in a scandal-ridden administration teaches you about damage control and orchestrated character rehabilitations.

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  1. Bob wrote:

    Sure, the article is willingly obtuse. Why in this day and age do we “fans” need EVERY detail in someone’s downfall? Those who want details, are more prone to falling the very same way. I know; I’ve been there. Several years ago, after actually thinking “I’ll never cheat on my wife,” I entered a chat room. Eight months later, I had been with THREE different women. Somehow, my wife forgave me and we are slowly rebuilding our relationship. I have paid the price in my spiritual and church life also. It is admirable that you do not advocate ‘’snipe hunts”, but ease up a little on the people of SG, okay? Makes me wonder what you think of Kirk Talley……..probably not too well would be my guess. Maybe you don’t even LIKE southern gospel…………and yet you feel you must criticize. So tell me, did G. and K. Crabb really get divorced, and is that why one of the girls left the family for over a year, and is that now why the kids are ending the family group?

    See how far this can go?

  2. shanjenkins wrote:

    It is what it is. There MUST be a balance to this little industry we call SG or AGM or whatever it’s becoming. Please DO NOT ease up on anything. These types of blogs keeps things honest. I am not talking about posting scandalous details of the demise of SG stars. I appreciate the fact that you don’t do that. I do appreciate you calling out the powers that be for corrupting our industry with their stinky, smelly politics…and making the fans stop in their tracks and think outside the rhetorical box everytime they read your blog! Don’t get mad at avery for reporting something published in a newspaper. Don’t be angry because avery raises questions about our industry, our artists, and our music. I believe what I believe because I questioned it and found that it was true, not because somebody just told me to believe it. Avery does a good work with this blog. After all, if there were no questions, there would be no true answers.

  3. gerry wrote:

    To all the Christians who think that nightclubs mean what Avery mentioned - “honky tonks and whiskey shots”…well, you are probably the same kind of person who thinks that Kirk Talley is really sorry…and straight. (Anyone else recall the GC article? You remember, when he basically said that being gay isn’t good or bad, “it just is”. I missed what chapter and verse he was quoting from - must have been from the Gospel of Kirk.)

    For Kenny to talk so coyly about going to nightclubs is shameful. I am not saying that he is not forgiven; I just think that perhaps he could look for another line of work. Oh, wait, what line of work made him more famous? Earning $68K a year at the Governor’s Mansion, or the playing the cutesy tenor in the Bishops? Kind of like Kirk Talley and his return to sg; “hey, I work at a men’s store and I sell Noni Juice and I own an Autolube and several rental homes, but I really believe that God wants me to be on stage in the spotlight again”. Both of them come across as self-serving and desperate for attention. Any wonder, then, that they are good friends?

    Having said all that, please also recall that Mr. Bishop himself said that he was going to continue going to nightclubs and have a “nightclub ministry”. YEAH, right. I suppose that is so that he can continue going to the nightclubs, but not feel so guilty. You know, so that when someone walks up and says, “Hey, aren’t you Kenny Bishop?”, he can put down his glass, turn from whatever he is gazing at, and say, “Why, yes I am! Tell me, brother, do you know the Lord?”

  4. Arnold Cenzaboy wrote:

    Wow! That Gerry person missed a dose of medication. Small minds can sure spit out some nasty phlem.

    Anyhow, Kenny’s on the right track, and trying to help anyone who finds themselves where he was. He certainly doesn’t need the fame or money. He has plenty to do at his “real” job, but I think it is most admirable for him to hit the road to small venues sharing about the Grace of God that Gerry and Doug are unable to extend to their “brother” in question. Judge on fellows, your day is coming!

  5. jill wrote:

    If you’re going to be in the spotlight you can’t just choose when you want to be there. “Much is required where much is given”. That seems to be the problem these days. Christians want to be of the world and sit on the fence. That way we don’t have to take a stand. We want to justify being in the honky tonks saying we are witnessing or saying it is part of our jobs. Non-believers can’t tell the difference in us because we blend right in with them. I love going to NQC, but, I have to put the things out of my mind that I know are going on with groups and let the Lord Bless me. There are people who are not called to sing the gospel. It is just a job like everything else. As far as Kenny and Kirk, I know God forgives and I am sure he has forgiven them, but, I just believe you don’t rub peoples face in it. I can’t believe they would think that everyone should just accept them back and put them right back where they once were.

  6. arnold wrote:

    OK Kenny, you went to a bar. You’re out of the Kingdom. Jill says so!

  7. missy wrote:

    I think Arnold totally misread Jill. NOthing was mentioned about being out of the Kingdom, just that you can’t expect people to accept you right back on stage singing the gospel with the same “following” that you had. You jumped to conclusion.

  8. Sandy wrote:

    I believe…
    A)Christ should be taught to all, beginning as a child.
    B)We all have a free will. Choose wisely.
    C)There are consequences to all of our actions (choses)
    D)God is and will forgive upon asking.
    E)When you “run with sh–, you smell like sh–. As a cop told my young adult child a few years back.
    F)Our choses can and have had bad influences, negative affects and a change in lifestyle upon others.
    G)Words are used (and twisted) to cause a viewpoint change.(At least that is what a person hopes occurs)
    H)We can publicly change (Still lead a double life)
    I)If we are in a ministry, we should uphold and live for Jesus Chirst at all times. Yes, we are human and have faults, GUARD YOUR HEART, MIND AND EMOTIONS!!!

    Among other beliefs

  9. Joyce wrote:

    I think Arnold is being willfully ignorant. Nasty phlegm (yes, it’s spelled with a g, Arnie)??? Give me a break. Both Kirk and Kenny lived double lives. While they were on stage receiving accolades for their God-given talents, they were secretly living in sin. How come Kirk didn’t stand up years ago while he was travelling with the Talleys and say, “Please everyone, I have been struggling with homosexuality and sending naked pictures of myself to other gay men, could y’all pray for me to overcome this?” NOT A CHANCE!!!! Did Kenny stand on stage with the Bishops and say, “I have been struggling with my bar-hopping, could y’all remember me in your prayers?” NOT A CHANCE.

    These artists seem to think, like Jill mentioned, that we want our faces rubbed in their not-so-secret sins. How are we to know that they have repented? Kirk didn’t sound like he had turned straight in the GQ article. And Kenny? I-want-to-have-a-club-ministry-Kenny? I won’t be buying any of their CDs anytime soon, and neither should anyone else.

  10. Bob wrote:



  11. smells wrote:

    What in the world Sandy? Why didn’t you just spell it out? You had a chose, I mean choice not to be vulgar, but you choice, I mean chose to.

  12. arnold wrote:

    I think Missy totally misread the news report. Mr. Bishop does not expect, nor does he enjoy the same “following” he had before. That following went with his brother, who apparently has not sinned quite so publicly. Kenny is in the trenches of SG world, repenting, restoring and renewing his mind. Thank the Lord that people don’t decide who God uses. Who did Jesus hang out with anyway? Perfect people? Nope. Demon possessed folks, crooked tax collectors, dirty fishermen, wine-bibbers at weddings, prostitutes, liars and the like. He sought them out! Put your rocks down and encourage a brother who is trying to help someone in the pig pen.

  13. Scott wrote:

    This whole thing reminds of the old Ray Stevens song, from the album Shriner’s Convention, I believe, called “The Dooright Family.”

    The song is an endearingly mocking musical rendering of a Southern Gospel group. Anyway, the main character Daddy Dooright begins to preach at one point about “them discoteques.” “There’s people in there smokin’, a ha. There’s people in there drankin’, a ha. There’s people in there dancin’, a ha. Lord they get out there in a pile and they gyrate around like a bunch of wild ‘heatherns’, a ha.”

    Then, another character in the song begins to wander off stage. “Where you goin’, Virgil,” daddy DooRight says.

    “I’m goin to one of them discoteques,” Virgil replies.

    Anyway, as the song says, “if you do do right, you know you can’t go wrong.”

  14. arnold wrote:

    Joyce said - “artists seem to think. . . . that we want our faces rubbed in their not-so-secret sins” - Thanks for that lovely observation. This is the spot where Jesus would write something in the dirt.

    I have to go put some more G in my phlem.

  15. jill wrote:

    Sounds like you might have a chip on your shoulder. Everyone has an opinion. Doesn’t mean you are right and everyone else is wrong. If we guarded our hearts and minds, like Sandy said, I guess we wouldn’t be having this discussion. Again I will say that much is required where much is given, so don’t throw all of that “in the trenches” and “repent, renew, restore” stuff around. I know God forgives. I think he forgave JImmy Swaggart too.

  16. shanjenkins wrote:

    I say just let the chips fall where they may and stop trying to say who’s worthy and who is not worthy of singing SG music. If you don’t like the artist, whether it be for their music or their moral “worthiness,” then don’t listen to or buy their material. If they still have an audience and people still want to hear them sing, then let it be. There’s nothing you can do about it anyway.

  17. Geno wrote:


    Ditto, Amen, and Bravo.

  18. Joe Lindsay wrote:

    Uh, folks- as professing Christians, the ONLY “opinion” we are allowed to have on something like this, is what the Bible says. Gerry, Jill, Joyce, and Sandy are all pretty much right on here.
    Sin is SIN. We are not to allow it, excuse it, or condone it. Nor are we to frequent where it is displayed. In fact, we are explicitly commanded to “come out from it, and be separate- touch not the unclean”. Jesus may have “socialized” with sinners- but He is God. We are not. He had no sinful nature- we do.
    The issues here are not the opinions of men or women. They are the black-and-white truths of God’s Word.
    “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead, expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of the things they do in secret”. (Eph. 5:11-12)
    Most definitely does God forgive the prodigal. But the prodigal never went back, to what he had been forgiven from. That, and only that, is true repentance.

  19. Mike wrote:

    Ok…. Everyone get your stones ready to throw since just about all of you seem to be the ones WITHOUT sin in your lives. Let’s have a contest to see who can throw the hardest!!

    I don’t think it’s our place to say if someone has been forgiven or not. If you don’t want to support these artist THEN DON’T .
    Quit running them down. We might sneak up on you and examine your life. MMM

  20. C.J. Russell wrote:

    My guess is that if people knew even half of what actually goes on in the lives of many of the gospel artist’s they would be amazed..that said, we are all human and we all will be held accountable for our “own” transgressions one day. We should all be more concerned about our own salvation and stop judging others. Much of what is heard in the “Gospel Rumor mills” is not even close to being fact. (I know this to be a Fact) Don’t get me wrong Sin is Sin regardless of who commits it or where it is committed it’s all the same, Rumors are still Rumors and they often take on a life of their own. There are a few people in SG who are not at all what they present themselves to be in their public life, if some of the adoring fans only knew…!

  21. C.J. Russell wrote:

    Joel L. you are right on the mark with your comments..

  22. arnold wrote:

    Joe says, “Gerry, Jill, Joyce, and Sandy are all pretty much right on here.”

    Judges and lawyers are in cahoots, I guess the SG Police run together too. If there is no forgiveness, there is no hope. Some of you folks need to discover that we are under Grace, not some double-talking Christianese Law! Good grief! I guess your church wouldn’t let me in because of my biker tatoos. They are a part of my past I can’t change, but God gave me a new future, just like Kenny and the rest of the folks you are all trashing in the name of your (little J) jesus

  23. shanjenkins wrote:

    I think we must be very careful to not be like the Pharisee saying, “thank God that I’m not like them…thank God I don’t have that much sin in my life.” The Bible addresses how to deal with sin not so we will shun or turn away people, but to reveal to them what’s right in hopes they will change. If we are not directly involved in the lives of these individuals, and if we can’t be a direct influence by using these biblical “tough love” methods, then I’m not sure that we should be concerned with these methods at all in the case of these artists. We can pray for them, but I think we should leave it up to their ministers, counselors, and friends to figure out the plan for change… as in what may open their eyes or what may push them further away. What I’m trying to say is…I’m afraid that alot of people use phrases such as “be separate - touch not the unclean” to condemn and judge. They love to say and quote those things because they can do it with authority on the premise that “the Bible says so.” Once again, if you don’t like their music or if you judge their life to be “too sinful” don’t listen to them or support their ministry. But, please don’t get on every SG Blog that exists and campaign for their expulsion from SG music. To really see what God wants for our lives, even the sinful ones, let’s look at David. A murderer, and adulterer, and many, many other things. If there were blogs at that time, the “righteous” would have definitely been after him. BUT, he was a man after God’s own heart. He was a great king. He was a successful person. And, God blessed him and loved him, despite his failures. Now for all of you doom and gloomers, and all of you “don’t touch him, he’s too dirty” folks, where does this story fit in?

  24. C.J. Russell wrote:

    Good point shaneJ.